Sillanpää MJ, Pikkuhookana P, Abrahamsson S, Knürr T, Fries A, Lerceteau E, Waldmann P, Garcia-Gil MR
Simultaneous estimation of multiple quantitative trait loci and growth curve parameters through hierarchical Bayesian modeling
Heredity: 2011, 1-13
A novel hierarchical quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping method using a polynomial growth function and a multiple-QTL model (with no dependence in time) in a multitrait framework is presented. The method considers a population-based sample where individuals have been phenotyped (over time) with respect to some dynamic trait and genotyped at a given set of loci. A specific feature of the proposed approach is that, instead of an average functional curve, each individual has its own functional curve. Moreover, each QTL can modify the dynamic characteristics of the trait value of an individual through its influence on one or more growth curve parameters. Apparent advantages of the approach include: (1) assumption of time-independent QTL and environmental effects, (2) alleviating the necessity for an autoregressive covariance structure for residuals and (3) the flexibility to use variable selection methods. As a by-product of the method, heritabilities and genetic correlations can also be estimated for individual growth curve parameters, which are considered as latent traits. For selecting trait-associated loci in the model, we use a modified version of the well-known Bayesian adaptive shrinkage technique. We illustrate our approach by analysing a sub sample of 500 individuals from the simulated QTLMAS 2009 data set, as well as simulation replicates and a real Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) data set, using temporal measurements of height as dynamic trait of interest.

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